Restaurant City

By Cher Cabula-Mendoza - Sunday, April 19, 2009

untitled
I gave in to my curiousity and started playing Restaurant City. Another Facebook game from Playfish, the same folks who gave us Pet Society and Who has the Biggest Brain. I caved in and now I'm totally addicted yet again. The game allows you to manage your very own restaurant with the special addition of being able to access restaurants that were created by your friends in Facebook who also has the game installed.

First up is this very cute loading screen. Since it's still in beta mode, it loads longer that anticipated and sometimes you'd get several retry screens. This causes some frustration to players but heck they still can't pry themselves away from pressing that "retry" button.
splash page
BEGINNINGS
First you will taken to a character creation screen. The interface is simple enough. Since you don't have any gold yet to buy some expensive facelifts, choose the best free options that suites your taste and click the green checkmark box to proceed.
char creation Next, you are then tasked to hire some friends to help you out. You will then assign each of them tasks, be it a waiter or a cook. As your level progresses, you get to hire more help.
hire You must at least monitor the energy levels of your staff or else they'll collapse and they won't be able to do their tasks anymore. You can feed them to boost their energy levels. Tip: It’s best to keep their energy levels up to 70% and above, going below makes them do their tasks longer.
friends If you accidentally leave the game on overnight, you'll find all of them lying on their back with red thought clouds saying "need rest" and the restaurant will be littered with trash. This will lower your popularity a lot. Your popularity rating is on the upper right of your screen with the thumbs up sign. In the center is you current level bar and on the left is your earnings.
no rest Tip: The game runs on and on even if you've closed Facebook. If you won't be able to monitor the progress of your restaurant at hourly intervals, just put the mailbox or anything to block the door so that nobody can go in. This way you won't lose any popularity ratings and you won't run your staff ragged. Oh and don't forget to set your people in "rest" mode before logging out.

You are given the basic furniture and equipment that you need to start a restaurant. People will start coming in. If you've already assigned tasks to your staff, they will automatically do their job and your restaurant will start earning gold. Tip: Don't splurge your hard earned earnings yet on decor, you might need the cash to keep you staff well fed.
redecorate
I have read that the look and cost of the item doesn’t have any effect on the performance of the staff or on the customers, so you can just stick it out for a few levels using these simple wood furniture. Tip: A tip on layouting your furniture though, figure out a layout where your staff will walk the least possible distance from the stove to the table of the customer that they’re serving. Other people have placed the stove in the center and with the tables and chair surrounding it.
waiting Tip: You can also choose to put chairs by the door to serve as a waiting area while there are still no available tables. Be careful and do not put in a lot though, because customers might also get tired of waiting.

You can see the exterior of your restaurant by going to the neighborhood screen. You can change the name of your restaurant here as well. You will see arrows on the left and right side of your restaurant, this is because you can restaurant hop and visit your friend's restaurants as well. Tip: As with the interior, no need to decorate your exterior lavishly just yet. Save your gold.
outside GAMEPLAY
Aside from managing your restaurant and staff so that you can earn gold and level up, there are other goals you need to accomplish. One is collecting ingredients so that you can make several menu items available in your restaurant.

The menu screen shows you the available dishes that you can make and the necessary ingredients you will need. Once you've acquired the goods, you can now learn the dish. After learning the dish, you can the proceed to level it up. Levelling up a dish increases the gourmet point bonus that you can get from that dish. There are awards for levelling up a dish.
learn
I have to admit, getting the ingredients is pretty hard. One way of getting the ingredients is by answering the food quiz. If you get the answer right, you get one free ingredient. You automatically get one free ingredient also each day. The one from the food quiz is a bonus provided you get the answer right.
quiz Another way is by visiting your friends. If you've visited them for the first time, you'll get a bonus ingredient.
visits Lastly, you can do safe trades. The trading screen will show you the rarities of each ingredient. You must either propose to trade for something of the same or higher rarity. If the item is locked, your friend will have to approved the trade.
trade There are also awards you can earn when you've met the requirements of each category. You can choose to or not to display them in your restaurant by accessing the customization panel.
award 2 awards
VERDICT
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. Another very good and challenging game. Even though, the game doesn't load properly sometimes and there are long saving times, it's pretty understandable since it's still in beta mode. Give this a try if you're into time management games. The vector graphics is cute enough, the gameplay is very addicting and somehow, just watching your staff and all the people coming and going in your restaurant can be strangely hypnotizing.

relayout1 Here’s my restaurant now at level 7.
I hope this post helps you out. If you still have questions please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

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